After being sent in to bat, Zimbabwe were unable to repeat their respectable performance from game one, crumbling for 96 all out in 27.5 overs. In reply, Australia peeled off 100-2 in 14.4 overs before a modest weekday crowd.
“Pretty clinical today,” Starc said in the post-match news conference.
“Some guys are coming off some cricket, others are coming off a few weeks of no matches. I think everyone’s finding a nice rhythm.”
The left-armer recorded figures of 3-24 and bowled with pace to clean up Zimbabwe’s top-order. The unfancied tourists never recovered after losing 25-3 inside the first powerplay, including the wicket of Sunday’s top-scorer, Wesley Madhevere, trapped lbw for nought.
Sheer dominance by Australia to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series 🙌 #AUSvZIM https://t.co/KZii5ROFQc
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) 1661917054000
Zimbabwe’s stated strategy of attacking the Australian bowlers unraveled when Sikandar Raza (17) and skipper Regis Chakabva (10) heaved needlessly, offering catching practice while the side was in a precarious position.
The only resistance came from Sean Williams, returning from an elbow injury, who top-scored with 29 before leg-spinner Zampa (3-21) induced an edge.
When the left-hander departed, Zimbabwe were reeling at 83-7 but the end came swiftly as Zampa combined with seamer Cameron Green to send the lower-order packing.
Two overs after the innings break, seamer Richard Ngarava accounted for both of the Australia openers.
David Warner (13) was caught low to the ground by Brad Evans at third man, and three balls later captain Aaron Finch failed to get out of single digits, caught on one by Raza in the slips.
Without the burden of scoreboard pressure, Steve Smith (47 not out) and Alex Carey (26 not out) batted fluently to chase down the remaining runs nearly four hours before the scheduled end-of-play.
The third and final match will be played in Townsville on Saturday.